Student assembly passes Transfer Student, NOH8 acts

The Student Assembly Senate unanimously approved the Transfer Student Act and the NOH8 Campaign Act Tuesday. The newly elected Class of 2018 senators and other SA members elected in the Sept. 25 election were also sworn in at the meeting.

The NOH8 Campaign Act allocates $5,000 from the Student Activities Reserve to sponsor bringing the NOH8 Campaign to campus as well as to subsidize student ticket costs by 50 percent.

The NOH8 Campaign  is a charitable organization established to promote marriage, gender and human equality following the 2008 passing of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. According to their website, NOH8 uses photographic silent protests to respond to the passage of Proposition 8, with photos depicting individuals with duct tape over their mouths. The photos are taken by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley.

Senator Tyler Brent ’15 sponsored the act and attended a NOH8 Campaign event at Old Dominion University last year alongside Tayler Mack ’15, a resident assistant and member of the Office of Community Engagement.

“It would be a great fit for the College, and I think it would be incredible to have this internationally renowned group come to campus,” Brent said.

In support of the act, SA Secretary of Diversity Hannah Kohn ’15 said she is hoping to turn I AM W&M Week into initiatives that occur throughout the year.

The Transfer Field Act, sponsored by Senator Nadia Ilunga ’15 and unanimously approved by the Senate, allocates $250 from the Student Activities Reserve fund to purchase food and equipment for a field day event for transfer students. The event is scheduled for today.

“[This is] meant to be a gathering for transfer students as a touching base point after orientation, … giving [transfers] a chance to reconnect,” Ilunga said.

The Senate voted to table the Charter Day Concert Act. Senate Chair Daniel Ackerman ’16 suggested tabling the bill so that newly elected members of the SA could discuss the bill in Senate committee meetings Sunday. Ackerman cited the amount of funds potentially allocated in the bill as the major reason for tabling the bill.

Before tabling the bill, senators discussed the Charter Day Concert selection process. Student body vice president Kendall Lorenzen ’15, a two-year member of the selection committee, said the chair of the AMP music committee creates a list of potential concert artists once funding is secured. Last year, the chair of the AMP music committee, two Charter Day at-large students and the senator who sponsored the Charter Day Concert Act ranked the artists. This year, Sen. Yohance Whitaker ’16 sponsored the bill and Lorenzen and Rory Park ’15 will continue to serve as the students in the selection process. Both served in the same role last year, and will be shadowed by Catie Pinkerton ’16 and Thomas Fergus ’16, who will participate in the selection process for the 2016 Charter Day. Arvin Alaigh ’15 is the chair of the AMP music committee.

Election Commission Chair Ryan Brophy ’15 provided a presentation regarding the results of the Sept. 25 freshman elections. Voter participation dropped from 57 percent in 2013 to 52 percent this year.

“[The] 57 percent last year was mostly attributed to elections going down [the year before] and we had a whole news story on that,” Brophy said.

The EAC issued two warnings during the election process regarding postings. Brophy also cited efforts to run a sustainable, paperless election.

Secretary of Finance Thomas Obermeier ’15 provided his monthly financial update to the senate. The SA Reserve started the semester at $169,879.19 and now rests at $150,079.19. The senate has allocated $12,808 from the conference fund, which started the year at $24,137.

Secretary of Student Life Shannon Caietti ’17 updated senators on the Homecoming Grant Act. The SA awarded grants to six of the 17 applicants. Homecoming grants will fund the Black Student Organization’s BSO Annual Stompfest, scheduled for Oct. 18; HOPE’s Love on the Rocks  —Consent is a Yes, which provides plastic red cups printed with relationship “red flags” that will be passed out during the Oct. 17 Homecoming parade; SEAC’s Groovin’ in the Gardens, scheduled for Oct. 17; Tribe THON and Campus Kesem at W&M’s roCKaTHON, scheduled for Oct. 16; Spotlight Show Choir’s Homecoming Concert; and William and Mary Black Law Student Association’s Movie Night.


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